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Trail system hosts first mountain bike race

September 20, 2008 : Eric Brown

Liberty University’s extensive trail system played host to its first ever mountain bike race on Saturday: Assault on Liberty Mountain. The event consisted of 125 bikers divided into three categories with skill levels ranging from expert to novice.

Starting and ending at Camp Hydaway, experienced racers competed on an intense 19.1-mile course, complete with mountainous climbs, rugged terrain and steep descents. Novice riders also took part in the competition, pedaling their way through a less technical 8-mile route.

Assault on Liberty Mountain is one of six races in the Virginia DeRailer Series. Beginning in 2002, the Virginia DeRailer Series provides mountain bike riders the opportunity to compete in races throughout the Central Virginia area.

Unique to the circuit this year, Assault on Liberty Mountain is the only point to point race in the series, totaling more racers than any other series event.

“We wanted to have real mountain bike course atmosphere,” Race Director Kenny Palmer said. “The 5,000 acres that compromise Liberty Mountain make it a very different course than all the others.”

LU’s Liberty Mountain boasts approximately 65 miles of trails, ideal for hikers, bikers, walkers and runners. Trail Manager Lars Larson was pleased with the event’s turnout and plans to host more races in the future.

“I think it was huge success,” he said. “It’s great to have this kind of exposure for the trail system and the university.”